Exclusive Conversation: Remembering Carroll Shelby

This May saw the passing of Carroll Shelby, an iconic figure in the world of automobiles and a beacon of individualism to every enthusiast who has an ounce of motor oil in his or her veins.

Watch Robert Ross' Interview with Carroll Shelby Here

Over the years, we have had the honor and pleasure of sharing Mr. Shelby’s company, engaging in both on- and off-the-record conversations—though not much was off the record with Shelby.

Shelby could be as modest as he was brilliant, and he always attributed his success to the engineers, designers, and drivers with whom he surrounded himself. In one conversation, I equated him with such luminaries as Enzo Ferrari and Colin Chapman, and Shelby seemed genuinely humbled to be mentioned in the same breath.

Our final meeting was last August in Monterey, Calif., at a large and soulless cocktail party, where Shelby and his wife, Cleo, were invited as the guests of honor. I had no idea he was present. Accompanying me to the party was a friend who, after a long search, had just acquired his first vintage Shelby—that very morning. Shelby approached me and started a conversation, and my friend, needless to say, was speechless.

Here we present an earlier conversation with Shelby from 2010 at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering in Pebble Beach. I had reserved a few minutes in Shelby’s busy schedule; he was the guest of honor and had just finished a big onstage appearance. Back in his room, I anticipated 10 minutes at most. When I walked in, he ordered the room cleared. “Go on, get the hell out of here. I want to talk to this young man.” We talked for well over an hour.

I—as do many others—count myself fortunate to be the custodian of a Shelby automobile. Owning one had been a dream since I was a kid. I am more fortunate still to have met the man whose cobra stares at me every time I get behind the wheel.

To hear audio of another fascinating conversation between Robert Ross and Carroll Shelby, click on the links below.

1. In the Beginning
2. Developing the Ford Mustang GT
3. The GT40
4. The Series 1
5. Legends of the Industry
6. Heart Transplants and Carroll Shelby's Children Foundation
7. Automobile Cult Status & Famous Chili

Read Next Article >>
Photo by James Lipman
Find out how the V-8 stacks up against its V-12 stablemate…
This race-adapted hybrid generates 86 more hp than its road-going counterpart…
Porsche 918 Spyder
See the winner and rankings, as well as exclusive photos and videos of all the cars...
Caterham Bikes Carbon E-Bike, a brawny carbon-fiber-and-aluminum electric bicycle that looks like a...
The Stingray is the seventh generation of the Corvette, a model that has been in production since...
Photo by Mathieu Heurtault/Gooding & Company
The annual Gooding & Company Amelia Island Auction...
Photo by Scott Williamson/www.photodesignstudios.com
Stutz Motor Car of America, produced the Blackhawk from 1971 through 1987...
Chevrolet brought its Corvette Stingray convertible to Palm Springs, a popular location for...
Photo by Max Earey
The new sedan generates 552 hp and 465 ft lbs of torque…
Photo by Yakima Products Inc
The company claims its rack is the most aerodynamic on the market…